Indefinite pronouns are a fascinating part of English grammar that often puzzle learners of the language. These pronouns refer to people, places, or things in a non-specific or general way, making them an essential tool for effective communication. In this article, we will explore the different types of indefinite pronouns in English, their usage, and provide examples to help you master their usage in your writing and conversations. Whether you are a native speaker or a non-native speaker, understanding indefinite pronouns will help you communicate more effectively in English.
What Is A Indefinite Pronoun?
Indefinite pronouns are words that refer to people, places, or things in a general or non-specific way, without pointing to any particular individual or object. They are used to avoid repetition and to make sentences more concise and fluid. Indefinite pronouns can function as subjects, objects, or possessive determiners in a sentence.
Examples of indefinite pronouns include: “someone,” “anyone,” “everyone,” “no one,” “anything,” “everything,” “nothing,” “somebody,” “anybody,” “everybody,” “nobody,” “something,” “anything,” and “nothing.”
Indefinite pronouns can be singular or plural, depending on the context of the sentence. They are an essential part of English grammar and are commonly used in both spoken and written communication.
Indefinite Pronouns List
Indefinite pronouns are those referring to one or more unspecified objects, beings, or places.
They are called “indefinite” simply because they do not indicate the exact object, being, or place to which they refer.
Here is a list of common indefinite pronouns in English:
- no one
Note that some of these pronouns can be used as singular or plural, depending on the context. For example, “everyone” and “everything” are always singular, while “some” and “any” can be singular or plural depending on the context. Understanding the usage and context of indefinite pronouns is important for effective communication in English.
Examples of Indefinite Pronouns
Here are some examples of indefinite pronouns in a table:
|anyone||Anyone can join the club.|
|anything||I will eat anything for breakfast.|
|anywhere||I can meet you anywhere in the city.|
|each||Each of the students has their own desk.|
|either||You can either come with me or stay here.|
|everybody||Everybody loves pizza.|
|everyone||Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting.|
|everything||I need to clean everything in the house.|
|neither||Neither of the options is ideal.|
|nobody||Nobody knows the answer to that question.|
|no one||No one showed up to the party.|
|nothing||There is nothing left to do.|
|one||One should always strive for excellence.|
|somebody||Somebody left their phone on the table.|
|someone||Someone is knocking on the door.|
|something||I need to buy something for dinner.|
These are just a few examples of how indefinite pronouns can be used in sentences. It’s important to note that the usage of these pronouns can be affected by the context of the sentence, so it’s important to understand the nuances of their usage in different situations.
Indefinite Pronouns in English
- Singular: another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, little, much, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, other, somebody, someone, something
- Plural: both, few, fewer, many, others, several
- Singular or Plural: all, any, more, most, none, some, such
Singular indefinite pronouns take singular verbs or singular personal pronouns.
Incorrect: Each of the members have one vote.
Correct: Each of the members has one vote.
(The subject “each” is singular, use “has”.)
Incorrect: One of the girls gave up their seat.
Correct: One of the girls gave up her seat.
(“Her” refers to “one”, which is singular.)
Plural indefinite pronouns take plural verbs or plural personal pronouns.
Incorrect: A few of the justices was voicing his opposition.
Correct: A few of the justices were voicing their opposition.
(“Few” is plural, so are “were” and “their”.)
For indefinite pronouns that can be singular or plural, it depends on what the indefinite pronoun refers to.
Incorrect: All of them is experts in their chosen field.
Correct: All of them are experts in their chosen field.
(“All” refers to “them”, which is plural.)
Incorrect: All of the newspaper were soaked.
Correct: All of the newspaper was soaked.
(Here “all” refers to “newspaper”, which is singular.)